Remains of an Innocent Friendship

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  • Sneha Bhatta

Remember when friends were the stars of our life?
“Friends, are like stars. You don’t always get to see them, but you know they’re always there.” We not only quoted this overly cliché line every now and then, but actually meant it. Friends, as we put, always watched over us, and we watched over them. The distance was never the problem.

Remember when we compared friends to the stars and lovers to the moon?
The sky still looked beautiful without the moon, but never, never without the stars. The seemingly less bright stars never bothered us; we knew that the stars were, in reality, way bigger than the moon; always have, always will.

But that was before the moon outshone the stars. Before we grew tired of counting the stars, and settled for the moon, before we considered the stars as mere background of the sky, and the moon as the heart of the stage. That was, before we started ignoring our friends we’d known for years, just to have extra time for our silly, romantic love. That was before we took our stars for granted, because, oh well, the stars aren’t going anywhere, are they?

Remember when friends were the stars of our life?
That was before our moon, the one we held in our highest priorities, started sorting out their priorities for something else. Before we started realising that full moon comes only once a month, before we learnt to fully appreciate the stars on the new moon night. That was when we realized that friends will always be the stars, but maybe we weren’t good stargazers enough.

° ° °

Remember when pinky promises were enough?
We held out in front of each other our right hands; a little shaking, but never doubtful. Then we’d entwine our pinky with theirs, and that completed the procedure of what we called, ‘a promise for life’. We used to take promises so seriously, at least as serious as a 6-year old could get.

Remember when we said ‘I promise’ and meant it?
Those were the times when breaking a promise was the last thing we’d want to do, when something as silly as a pinky promise had such huge effect on us. When we were scared of lying, party because we thought it would make our nose grow, and partly because, well, a lie hurts people’s feelings, right? Those were the times we never, ever betrayed our friends.

But that was before we started crossing our fingers to get away with any promise, any lie; before we started searching for loopholes. That was before we realised that lying doesn’t make your nose grow. Before our ‘white-lies’ turned into ‘half-truths’ into ‘modified-truths’ into pure, downright lies. Before we didn’t bat an eye while betraying our friends, because let’s face it, who takes a pinky promise seriously anymore?

Remember when a pinky promise was enough?
That was before we started lying to ourselves, convincing ourselves that a small lie won’t hurt.
That was before we realised that what goes around, comes around. That while we were so busy stabbing our friend’s back, we had- unbeknownst to us- a decent amount of knives stabbed on ours too.

• • •

Remember when friends came before anything?

Maybe they still do. Maybe, some friends are still an extension of our family, and at the same time, an escape from the family.
But that was before we made other friends, before the other friends took over our old friends. Before we started classifying our friends: childhood friends, mutual friends, colleagues, classmates, rich friends, friends that help in studies, friends with good contacts, friends that come handy when bored, friends to hang out with, friends with benefits, etc. etc. That was before we mistook every other person, except family and lover, for a friend.

Remember when friends were everything to us?
That was before friendship got adulterated, before things like ambitions, politics, competitions, jealousy, came between friendship. Before we knew the meaning of ‘third wheel’, and ‘love triangle’, and ‘friends-turned-strangers’. Before we relied on facebook to remind us about their birthday.
Before wishing them on birthdays and new years felt like an obligation, before maintaining the friendship felt like an obligation.

Remember when we actually had real friends?
Of course we do remember, because that was when we ‘grew up’.
That was before we scanned through the dictionary for the definition of a friend, and took it way too literally.
(IPA): /fɹɛnd/Friend, noun [ C ]
A person who you know well and who you like a lot, but who is usually not a member of your family…

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